More and more your store is like your competitor’s store, your brands are like their brands, and the flavor you’re serving tastes very much like theirs. There is little difference beyond the popularity of your brands or how low the price is that it is offered at.
When this is the case, the consumer begins to care much more about the skill you deliver your brands with and the experience you create for him or her. Finding the correct strategy to deliver on your promise to your customers will diminish their valuation of brand and price.
You need look no further than the current Godzilla of our industry, its well executed plan and the incredible customer experience it has created to fully understand the importance of great strategy. This company knows its customer, creates an exceptional experience and chooses to focus on great marketing as opposed to discounting.
As we move forward, the available pie (at least for the near future) will continue to grow smaller, and the channels will become more and more conflicted: manufacturers going direct, distributors becoming manufacturers, retailers acting as importers, etc. It is going to be harder to stand out, and if your business is employing a poor strategy, it will be nearly impossible.
The evolution of the web and of companies like Amazon and eBay has given a host of European dealers and manufacturers a channel to drive brands to the U.S. powersports consumer. This means that the way you go to market, structure of your brand offerings and how you develop your future strategy is more important than ever. These factors alone are sufficient enough to cause us to lose market share no matter how we play the game, but what they should be is the catalyst for needed change.
If you are searching for your new direction, new strategy and positive change then now is the time to shake it up. It doesn’t matter if you go from high-end to low-end, brick and mortar to web, from large to small, from open sales to exclusive membership or any combination of these, just plan, employ and execute. Old models are quickly falling to the side, and the market is open and ripe for agitation. Not changing your strategy because you’re comfortable or it just seems like too much work is the worst strategy of all.
Tim Calhoun is the president of SpeedMob Inc., a boutique distributor and brand management company that offers personalized service, expert technical advice and solid after sales support for quality brands. As a recognized powersports leader with over 30 years experience in dealership management, sales management, business development, distribution management, brand building and marketing, Tim has worked with or for the three largest distributors in Powersports (WPS, TR, PU) in an outside sales role, as a national sales manager and as a manufacturer/vendor. With experience in the aftermarket, dealer and the OEM sector he has a well rounded perspective on the interactive roles and impact each of these sectors has with one another.